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Presidential Biography

John J. Sbrega, Ph.D.

Dr. John J. Sbrega is President of Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts.  His appointment became effective July 1, 2000.  In his role as President, Dr. Sbrega is a member of the New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and the Bristol Workforce Investment Board.  He is past Chairman of the New Bedford Youth Council and now serves as a member of that council.  He is a member of the Fall River Office of Economic Development Council, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Fall River Chamber of Commerce.  Dr. Sbrega also serves on the Executive Committee for the USS Massachusetts Memorial Committee and is a member of the United Way Board of Directors.

Since coming to Bristol Community College, President Sbrega has emphasized the chief institutional priority of "Student Success."  He has forged a new administrative structure to strengthen services to students by unifying all enrollment functions and services.  Dr. Sbrega created new intra-campus councils to focus on marshalling college resources to better serve students.  His innovative system of open office hours, direct telephone access to the President, visits with all campus constituencies, and regular columns written in campus publications have served to strengthen college communications and to broaden his accessibility.  Some of his other innovations include the creation of living memorials for employee service to the college, a recognition breakfast for the annual Distinguished Citizen award, fund-raising activities, and a new system of performance measurement and accountability.

Before assuming the presidency at Bristol, Dr. Sbrega was the vice president for academic and student affairs at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) for three years. Located near Annapolis, Maryland, AACC is a comprehensive community college with 10,000 full-time equivalent students and 204 full-time faculty. Within the institutional budget of more than $47 million, his areas of responsibility accounted for about two-thirds of that total.

President Sbrega holds an A.B. from Union College (Schenectady, NY) and a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from Georgetown University (both earned "With Distinction"). He has also been a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr. Sbrega began his long career in community colleges in 1974 as a professor of history at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Downtown Campus (Richmond, VA), where he taught on a full-time basis for five years.  Jack also served for seven years as founding chair of the newly created Division of Social Sciences at Tidewater Community College—Virginia Beach Campus. In 1986, he accepted the position of assistant dean for academic affairs at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).  In 1990, Dr. Sbrega became the founding chief academic officer for the new Providence Campus at CCRI and subsequently earned promotion to full dean. 

Some of Dr. Sbrega's accomplishments at AACC included the reorganization of academic affairs, the creation of "Student Success" initiatives (e.g., college roundtables, a "Student Success" course, Coordinating Council for Student Success, Student Success Center), the assessment of learning outcomes, writing across the curriculum, multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity across the curriculum, a "shadow semester" (delayed start), and a flexible job description for faculty.

At CCRI, Dr. Sbrega launched and directed the Honors Program and the Cooperative Education Program; he helped create and supervise the Service-Learning Program as well as the Center for Business and Industrial Training.  Under his leadership, the new Providence Campus, which is set in the heart of the inner city, grew in enrollment literally from zero to approximately 2,000 students.

His professional experiences include: an American Council on Education Fellowship, The League for Innovation in the Community College's Executive Leadership Institute, Harvard's Management Development Program, Cornell's Academic Leadership Program, and internships with President David Pierce at the American Association of Community Colleges, and Executive Director Terry O'Banion at The League for Innovation in the Community College.  Throughout his career, Dr. Sbrega has maintained a continuous presence in the classroom, and he has earned awards for teaching excellence. He has published five books and several articles (including prize-winning work and international recognition) in history.

For five years, Dr. Sbrega was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and served in Southeast Asia.  Both Jack and his wife, Jo-Anne, are from Holyoke, Massachusetts.  They have two grown children -- Daniel and Christianne.

Contact Details


President's Office
Fall River Campus
Phone: 508.678.2811, ext. 2184
Location: D210a

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